Sket Dance – 67

In the first half, Agata sends Tsubaki to Bossun for advice on T-shirt design, but Bossun is distressed to find Tsubaki’s creative process is extremely rigid and limited and he is brittle to criticism. In the second half, Bossun and Switch get into a heated trivia battle over the robot anime “Code A” that ends in a draw. Switch suggests they attend a fan meet-up to determine the ultimate winner. Switch gets a cold, leaving Bossun on his own among hardcore otaku. He pulls out a miracle win by reciting unrelated information and impressing the others, thus winning a rare collectible.

While its scientific merit is debatable, the term “left-brained” has become a figure of speech denoting someone having a bias towards logic, math, detail orientation and systematic thinking (see: Tsubaki), whereas a “right-brained” means a bias towards feelings, images, spacial perception, and artistic creativity (see: Bossun). When it comes to origami, drawing, design, and other such pursuits, Bossun shines, but Tsubaki is totally and unequivocally inept. His futile attempts – including a bafflingly awful final shirt design that’s almost so bad it’s good – are good for some laughs.

The second half is a merciless jab at extreme otakuism, and how easy it is to get trapped in a dark room. Of course, Bossun enters this stinky world because he wants to beat Switch first and foremost, and ends up frightening his sister. The climactic meet-up is a smorgasbord of otaku stereotypes that likely exist – people clinically into very specific things. But they’re also an affable bunch, and somewhat amusingly, Bossun wins them over by accident: reciting info he memorized from a book about the proper code of conduct for Japanese youths; a recitation that is specific enough to castigate his audience but ambiguous enough to relate to the anime.

Rating: 6 (Good)